Thelma and Louise Go to Mexico, Almost, Then Turn Left
You may think you'll never be driving down the interstate with trance music on the radio, attempting one-handed to put shoes on a stuffed donkey, but road trips with a 2-year-old can get a little Twin Peaks. Thus, the icon for our Third Annual Mother-Daughter Thelma-and-Louise Adventure is the giant truck-mounted papier-mache head, above, spotted outside the Iga Del Sol grocery ("Iga of the Sun") in Yuma, Ariz.

Actually, Alex was a very good traveling companion, but now that California has banned kids in the front seat, I had to get inventive about entertaining her on the long days in the Golden State. Dance music helped.

We saw some different scenery this summer because the first task of the trip was dropping David off at the Mexican border to start this year's Pacific Crest Trail hike. We spent three nights at Mount Laguna, about 50 miles inland from San Diego, then on Day 4 we let David go and headed east on Interstate 8. North at Yuma to Interstate 40, right turn, and straight on to Albuquerque. Left at Albuquerque (thanks, Bugs), up I-25 to Fort Collins. Four days there. Back home on I-80. Some notes:

Until the big Hatteras blowout, our trips will be to Southern California and back. Not that there aren't delights to be found there (see left). The deer were really cute, but, we have to say, the car was kind of slimy afterward. And the fragrance wasn't pine, if you get my drift.